At least one student says that she survived Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, by lying on top of a dying classmate.
According to a timeline reconstruction published Wednesday by The Washington Post, Miguel Cerrillo’s 11-year-old daughter Miah was in the classroom when the gunman barricaded himself inside. Cerrillo said that he rushed forward after he saw Miah being carried to a hospital-bound bus with several bullet fragments in her side. He told The Washington Post that he had been able to briefly speak with her through the window before the bus pulled away.
“‘I panicked,’ Cerrillo told the Washington Post, saying his daughter detailed how she had watched as her teacher, Eva Mireles, was shot by the gunman while attempting to phone the police,” The Houston Chronicle reported. “His daughter Miah told Cerrillo she quickly grabbed the phone and called 911, and then hid from the shooter by lying down on top of one of her classmates, who had been shot and was bleeding on the ground. Her classmate was breathing but expired before help arrived, according to Cerrillo’s account.”
“We figured Uvalde was safe,” Cerrillo added during his interview with the Washington Post. “Now we know it’s not safe.”
Another young student described the moment the shooter entered the classroom, saying, “He shot the next person’s door. We have a door in the middle. He opened it. He came in and he crouched a little bit and he said, he said, ‘It’s time to die.’”
That student said that he then hid under a table with several other students, waiting for help to arrive. “When I heard the shooting through the door, I told my friend to hide under something so he won’t find us,” he said. “I was hiding hard. And I was telling my friend to not talk because he is going to hear us.”
“When the cops came, the cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘Help!’ The [shooter] overheard and he came in and shot her,” the student added.
Nineteen students and two adults were killed when the shooter barricaded himself inside that classroom. The standoff ultimately came to an end when border patrol agents were able to get inside the school, killing the gunman while he was engaged with local law enforcement.